China plans on building moon base in 'about 10 years' (lunar design)


EXCERPT: . . . Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon. To that end, Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration, announced the country's planned lunar missions at the opening ceremony of China's Space Day in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.

The China National Space Administration (CSNA) intends to build the research station in the region of the moon's south pole, said Zhang, a far departure from the six NASA Apollo moon landings that took place between 1969 and 1972, all touching down close to the moon's equator. [...] is reporting that China's long-term lunar research station plans are still sketchy. However, China did announce its new Long March-5B rocket will make its maiden flight in the first half of 2020, carrying the core parts of a planned space station... (MORE)

Living on the Moon: A Chinese conceptual lunar base (excerpt, 2017): . . . a comprehensive conceptual design for a human lunar base being studied by researchers and scientists at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), an institute under CASC, the main contractor for the Chinese space programme. [...] While far from being an official plan, the concept looks at possible motives and required research, systems and technologies, and could form the basis for, or influence, a future concrete human lunar project.

[...] The interior main body of the integrated human lunar base consists of a habitation module, laboratory module and support module, connected by expandable joint structures but separate and somewhat independent of each other, for reasons of psychological needs and personal health.

The living area module would contain the kitchen, gym, toilet and necessary facilities, with the communication system, main computer, central control and backup systems located in the support module. Also detailed are considerations for emergency situations, with each habitat having three exits, including one to a pressurised rover which can deliver astronauts to a launch/landing area.

Water supplies could double up as a protective layer in the walls of the habitats to provide protection against radiation. The main specifications state that the base would have a design lifetime of at least 8 years, be capable of hosting 3-6 astronauts at a time for periods of 3 months or greater at a time, and be able to run automatically without human presence.

[...] presentation also outlines the communications, energy, in-situ resource utilisation, thermal control, life support and emergency systems and resources required for long-term habitability. Most important are oxygen, water, food, energy and construction materials. Biological regenerative systems would include microbial waste treatment technology, plant cultivation, animal (insects such as silkworm and mealworm) and algae production.

Power sources, in addition to using solar arrays, will include nuclear power and a regenerative fuel cell, with excess energy going towards electrolysing water to obtain hydrogen and oxygen. A constellation of circumlunar and polar orbit satellites would provide communications, navigation services and wide area network access for spacecraft, rovers and the lunar base. (MORE)

[Image: expandable-joints-china-concept-moon-base-cast.PNG]

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